Last Wednesday I had the unique pleasure of giving my testimony at the MEF Bible Conference in Colorado Springs. It was unique because this year for the first time, they are asking the speakers to take a few minutes to share how they were saved. It was unique in another, deeper sense. Although I came to faith in Christ 39 years ago, I have rarely told the story. I think I’ve shared it five or six times over the years, not because of any personal reticence but because I have rarely been asked about it. So it was a good for my soul to think again about the events that led to my coming to Christ. I confess that before getting up to speak (they asked us to take a few minutes to share—not a full message), I felt unusually nervous. But once I started, not only did I feel great freedom, there was joy in heart to tell again how the Lord found me and brought me to himself.

I began this way:

"The year was 1943 and the whole world was at war. A young man from Mississippi who was studying to be a doctor was sent by the Army to the frozen tundra of northern Alaska, to a little town called Nome, not far from the Bering Strait. It was bitterly cold when the young man arrived there, and I don’t think he ever really got used to it. Eventually he met a beautiful Army nurse from Iowa. It was so cold in Alaska that people found many ways to keep warm. And so that young man and that young woman found each other. I know they never forgot how cold it was because later they talked to their sons about it"

"After the war, they married and eventually moved to Memphis, Tennessee. Later they moved to a small town in northwest Alabama where they raised their four sons. I was the second of the four boys—Andy, Ray, Alan and Ronnie. Because Dad was Baptist and Mom was Catholic, they never really settled on a church home, but they both made sure that their four boys were in church every Sunday. I have some old pictures of the Pritchard boys on Easter Sunday, dressed in suits and ties, lined up by age and height, ready to go to church."

I have written the rest of my testimony in a sermon called Has God Lost the Battle? Scroll down to the section titled “Raised in the Church."

I must have mentioned it being cold in Alaska several times (I do remember Mom and Dad talking about that) because when Ian Leitch gave the message following my testimony, he worked the phrase “it’s cold in Alaska” into his sermon four or five times, each time drawing a chuckle from the crowd.

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.